Annemiek van Vleuten capped her remarkable comeback from injuries suffered in a horrific crash at the Olympic Games with a second stage win and the overall victory at the Lotto Belgium Tour.
The Dutch rider, competing for Orica-AIS, suffered multiple back fractures and serious concussion in her crash in the Rio 2016 road race but bounced back to win the Belgium Tour’s prologue just one month later.
And she topped off her return to racing with a stunning solo win on the third and final stage of the race, culminating on the daunting Muur van Geraardsbergen.
Van Vleuten made her move on the second ascent of the Muur with Elisa Longo Borghini, going solo minutes later to not be seen again by the peloton.
With a gap of over a minute going into the final kilometre, van Vleuten could afford to lap up the cheers of the crowd as she crossed the cobbled finish.
The overall win is van Vleuten’s first since taking victory in the same race back in 2014 – a year in which she led from start to finish and took three stages in total.